How Much Does It Cost To Develop An App In 2023? Best Cost Breakdown

How Much Does It Cost To Develop An App In 2023? Best Cost Breakdown

How much does it cost to make an app for your business? Well, this depends on the complexity of the app you want to get developed. For a basic cost of $40 per hour, the average can be seen from the table below-

CostTime Taken
Simple App DevelopmentFrom $20,000 to $50,0002-3 Months
Average App DevelopmentFrom $50,000 to $150,0006-9 Months
Complex App DevelopmentStarts from $300,0009+ Months

This blog will be a detailed description of how you can manage the cost of app development and also how much each type of app can cost according to your business. Apart from this, you can get knowledge of factors that can affect app development costs and how you can strike a balance. Overall, it is a great resource for founders to understand the app development cost dynamics. So, let us dig into that.

How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App?

According to the table above it is very clear that based on the complexity of the app cost and time taken to get changed. The range of possible costs for app development is from $40,000 to $150,000. 

Still, the fact of complexity and features required in the app decides the actual cost of an app. The most reliable and easy option for knowing the cost estimation of an app is to contact an app development company.

If you request a quote from an app development company with proper app details and documentation then you can get an estimation of the app development cost. This estimation is almost approximate to the actual cost of app development. 

But on the contrary app development cost estimation involves a lot of app development services and time so that you can get the exact calculation. These services are-

  • Features Complexity
  • Database Complexity
  • Level and size of the development team
  • Process of development
  • Complexity and the number of third-party integrations
  • Number of screens
  • Design complexity
  • The phase of quality assurance
  • Security protocol implementation like GDPR or HIPPA

To know the app development cost let us look at world app development statistics in the image below-

app development cost

Cost Statistics of App Development

How much it costs to build an app and the popularity of apps are determined by the world’s growth of mobile app development. We can give a number of available apps to download in the app store which is approx 7 million.

We have researched mobile app development and got some interesting facts from various sources and methodologies about app development costs in 2023 as follows-

  • The dominant app development market is free apps. Most mobile development companies focus on making freemium apps. According to Statista, 92% of apps are free to access on free utilities and the Apple app store.
  • Based on the research done by Market Research, by 2026 the market of app development will grow approximately 18% more, and the predicted revenue should be $407 approximately.
  • This fact is about smartphone users by Statista, according to which 66% of smartphone users download games on their device. 95% of all users download communication apps, web browsing apps, and messaging apps.
  • The number of apps gets released on Google Play Store is around 100,000 and on the app store, this number is around 30,000 every month (Statista).
  • According to Statista, the revenue of the app development industry is $582 Billion approximate and in 2023 it will cross approx $1 trillion.
  • Based on the research of eMarkrter, almost 90% of the time is spent on apps this will be continued. People will spend 4 hours on phones and most of their time will be consumed by apps only. 

Do you know if you follow a proper guide to develop an app, which can help in managing cost and make your app more cost-effective? As mentioned before that app development cost depends on the complexity of the apps and we also know the market is growing actively, and fast. So, let us discuss so more facts on which app development cost depends. 

App Development Cost Based on Types

Types of apps are also a factor from which the cost of development gets affected. Here are the list of types of apps and their average cost and estimated time to be developed.

Type of AppEstimated CostTime Taken
Food Delivery App$40K – $150K37-38 Days
Learning App (TED)$60K – $225K37-38 Days
Restaurant App$40K – $150K37-38 Days
Community App$18K – $150K37-38 Days
Shopify App$30K – $18K37-38 Days
Mobile App$30K – $300K50 Days
iPhone App$55K – $300K50 Days
Android App$50K – $300K50 Days
Web App$60K – $300K50 Days
Retail App$50K – $150K50 Days
Social Media App (Meta)$50K – $300K50 Days
Startup App$40K – $400K66-67 Days
Taxi App (Uber)$50K – $400K66-67 Days
Game App$60K – $250K66-67 Days
Augmented Reality (AR) App $100K – $250K66-67 Days
eCommerce App$60K – $250K66-67 Days
Video Streaming App$80K – $300K66-67 Days
Dating App$50K – $350K58-59 Days
Business App$50K – $200K50 Days
Hybrid App$40K – $200K50 Days
Healthcare App$55K – $300K50 Days
Typical App$40K – $300K50 Days

Apart from types of apps, the country is also a factor on which app development cost can differ. Let us see how.

App Development Cost Based on Region

RegionCost (per hour)
Australia$100 – $120
Eastern Europe$30 – $50
India$20 – $30
UK (United Kingdom)$100 – $120
USA (United States of America)$120 – $150
Western Europe$80 – $100

As it is clear that according to the region app development cost gets affected very much. The lowest cost of app development is in India and the highest is in the USA. But per hour cost also can get involved by some more factors as follows-

  • Project complexity
  • Specialist involvement (testers, programmers, scrum master, project manager, business analyst, etc.)
  • Specialist qualification (junior, middle, senior)
  • App development programming language (Golang, Java, Swift, JavaScript, Kotlin, PHP)

All these are an initial levels of application design cost factors and in the next part of this blog, we will get to some successful app developments to know the cost factors a little more.  

App Development Cost Examples

The app development cost and development time will be discussed for the best apps available. The thing to focus on here is the estimation and basic idea that can be provided for these apps but the actual cost depends upon the self-experience.

Read more- Mobile Language Learning App Development Costs and Feature

Tinder

Tinder

This app was launched in the year 2012 and it raised $485,000 in the seed. It is one of the most popular dating apps exist.

The best part of this app is its easy-to-use structure. Users just need to left and right swipe according to their will. The left swipe is for not showing interest in a particular profile and the right swipe is for showing interest. If you get the right swipe from the other person, the app will show one match. See it is this easy.

It takes approximately $70,000 and 1.5-2 months to get completed. This is because the features required for dating apps such as Tinder are-

  • User profile
  • GPS Tracking Settings
  • Communication channel
  • Push notification
  • Authorization
  • Matching functionality
  • Third-party integration

Ikea

Ikea

It is a brand-based application that was developed based on augmented reality. The pictures used in the catalog are all 3D models. Ikea has many integrations, security aspects, and several new features that make it costly but also can provide you with many functionalities.

This is why the cost of such apps starts from $45,000 and can take a minimum of 40-45 days to get developed.

The following are some features of this mobile app development-

  • Real-time dashboard
  • Real-time analytics
  • Visualization of products in the 3D
  • 360-degree view of products
  • Integration of CRM
  • Social media sharing compliance 

Uber

Uber

If talk about the most successful ride-hailing services and do not mention Uber, that is not possible. This app is on the list because it is a composition of 3 applications. Two mobile applications for user and driver purposes and one web application for the admin panel. This becomes the reason that such apps require a budget of three applications.

The cost of developing applications like Uber starts from $50,000 and can take a minimum of 50-60 days.

The features of the app are-

  • Push notification integration
  • SMS
  • Geolocation
  • Integration of payment
  • Routing
  • Advanced routing integration and many more additional functions   

TikTok

TikTok

It is the best application for video-sharing. The cost of this social media application development depends upon the features and functionalities that such apps offer. 

Still, the cost estimation of apps like TikTok starts from $70,000 and can take up to 50-60 days to get developed.

The features of the app are-

  • Multi-language support
  • Video and image sharing
  • Video calling
  • Online messaging
  • User connectivity and many more

Airbnb

Airbnb

Airbnb is a marketplace app that is indeed thriving. This is because such apps are a combination of on-demand apps and eCommerce online stores. This becomes the reason that the cost of app development is higher than other types of apps and the time taken in development also depends on the app’s functionalities.

The cost estimation of apps like Airbnb is $75,000 and the time taken can be 40-45 days.

Some of the advanced features are the following-

  • List saving for favorite homes and places
  • Available units searching is possible
  • Last minute booking
  • Trip co-planning 
  • Referral system
  • In-app chat
  • Workflow of advanced booking including date, check-ins, and much more

Know more- Hotel Online Booking Mobile App Development Cost & Features

As we have seen how much an app development can cost just like these famous apps but now let us have a look at the factors that impact the app development cost.

App Development Cost Affecting Factors

Before you get the answer of how much it costs to make an app, you must know some basic things about app development. Like what is your target audience, knowing how to code, selecting the platform to code, and business objectives? 

Also, additional functions, buttons, screens, and other elements make the application more convenient, unique, engaging, and user-friendly. But they all can make the application cost eleven more. 

This is why before developing the app, the development of a prototype of the app is important so that the smallest detail of the app and its functionalities can be reviewed.

So, like these, some factors affect the cost of app development as listed below-

  • Complexity Levels
  • Structure, and Design
  • Platform (on which the app will run)

All these factors are going be discussed in detail here-

Factor 1: Complexity Level of App Development

Complexity Level of App Development

This is a universal fact the smaller and simpler a thing will be the time in its development will also be shorter. The same goes for app development too. The scale of upcoming work is the factor that helps a developer decide the total time required for developing a certain app.

For that, you need to ask some questions like how many features need to be implemented in the app, how many screens, buttons or functionalities will the product have, what will the complexity of business logic, etc.

The complexity of an application depends on the factor features, integrations selected, and the method of app development.

A Simple AppA Mid-Level AppA Complex App
Complexity-

A few features

Complexity-

A few roles, use of data and APIs

Complexity-

Many roles, complex tech solutions

Example-

Calendar app

Example-

EHR platform

Example-

Telehealth platform

According to the figure above, the complexity of an app can be divided into three categories and their characteristics are explained below-

Characteristics

Simple Apps

  • Created  without any additional benefits
  • Low tech screens
  • Only necessary AI solutions included
  • Only essential features included

Mid-level Apps

  • Customized UI
  • Real-time messaging
  • Integrations with API
  • More Complicated things are possible
  • More screens

Complex Apps

  • Multi-functionality
  • Complex and advanced features like real-time synchronization
  • UI animation
  • Chatbots
  • Media processing and much more

The expert development team required for the project is-   

  • Project Manager
  • UI/UX Designer
  • IOS/Android Developer
  • Backend Developer
  • QA Engineer

The approximate time taken for each app will be-

  • Simple– From 2 to 4 months
  • Mid-level– From 6 to 10 months
  • Complex– From 8 to 12+ months

Features included in the app and the size of a project affect the cost of a complete project. So, let us find out what features these three types of apps include-

Features

Simple Complexity

Such apps consist of basic features like 3-4 screens, simple functions, and no data storage. The possible features in simple complexity apps are-

  • Login
  • Sign up
  • Profile building and editing
  • Notifications
  • Search option
  • Messaging
  • Dashboard/Admin panel

The cost of these apps depends upon the collection of these features. Some examples of simple complexity apps are calender apps, calculator apps, social networks, note-taking apps, time-tracking apps, etc. 

If you are a beginner then, you must read-

How to Build an App? 10 Steps to Develop an App from Scratch

Basic Complexity

It is simple, if you add more features and databases to an app then it will cost more than an app without databases and basic features just like an airplane which is more costly than a car.

In these apps API-based applications, you can find some more features apart from what you can find in a basic complex application. That are listed below-

  • Payment portals
  • Geo-location
  • Enhanced security
  • Location tracking
  • In-app purchases
  • Social media integration

Apart from these features the usage of robust infrastructure and better accessibility also are great features of these apps. Such apps need data storage, retrieval of data from more than one database, and more synchronization.

For developing these apps you must know how large the audience is so that cost estimation can be done before real development. This is because the number of features and app complexity will increase the cost. Some examples of mid-level complexity apps are image-sharing applications, taxi applications, and food delivery applications.

High Complexity

These types of apps are generally designed for big businesses and they have rich features based on their large scale. 

Generally, these apps create a customized development without using integrations or they use customized integrations with the existing systems.

Such apps are legacy or customized applications which is why they are the most costly. The development cost can go much hight than you might expect. Here are some features that such apps include-

  • Native Features
  • In-app calls
  • Video chats
  • Online streaming
  • Data synchronization with multiple devices (at least more than two)
  • Messaging

The cost of development is not only higher for such applications but also the research and planning increase the cost even more. 

On top of it, these apps need high availability and redundancy requirements. Also, these apps require several infrastructure elements for visualization and creation of a dashboard, development platform complexity, number of databases and servers, etc. 

These apps need heavy customization and developer have to write code for most functions. This is why it is hard to estimate the cost before discussing it in long hectic meetings. Some examples of these apps are gaming applications, trading applications, CRM applications, enterprise applications, and many more.

Factor 2: The Application Design Complexity

The Application Design Complexity

In the process of cost breakdown of app development, design is the most integral part. Without considering both you cannot estimate the exact app development cost. 

Designing an app is much more like development, adding more features to the app. The cost also increases according to the complexity of design templates. More customization will add more cost to the total development cost and time also.

Here are some points that need to be kept in mind while deciding the cost range for app development-

User Experience

UX is all about how simple the application is working. It includes developing screens on paper or a prototyping platform. This is also helpful in calculating the cost of the application.

The ultimate goal is to make an easy-to-use application for users so it can be approachable. This is an important point to consider and also knowing users, market, aims and objectives are essential. 

The cost of app development and launch is going to be intricate with the engagement of the design levels.

Examples-

  • Buttons placement
  • Color psychology
  • Following the eye pattern of a user  

User Interface and Visuals

There are so many things, ins and outs that an application has but it always starts with UI. This is the part of an application with which an end-user interacts.

It is quite simple, based on the visual elements you can define the cost of app development but it also impacts the MVP design cost of the app.

If you are thinking only the appearance of an app is UI then you are wrong because it involves developing visual prototypes or mockups so that you can get a slight hint about the solution design. The design also depends upon your goals which can be understood through these questions as follows-

What are your requirements for the Enterprise app?

  • Sales
  • Engagement
  • Information

What kind of app do you want to develop?

  • Basic 
  • Authentication
  • E-commerce
  • Social media
  • Marketplace
  • On-demand
  • IoT

Although there are different approaches to finding design solutions for an app still,

What is the best approach to finding the optimal cost of app development?

You can find the best solution by focusing on design and development together. Some examples are-

  • Typography
  • Items
  • Colors
  • Screens
  • Layout
  • Elements
  • Shapes 

Branding

Before getting to this point a quick question. What comes to your mind first when you hear Apple, Nike, Reebok, Volkswagen, McDonald, Dominos, and many other brands like them?

The brand value they have created and the icons that made them outshine their competition so well.

Now, if you think why? Then the answer is in front of you that they have invested in branding splendidly.

Now, the catch is you may not be concerned about branding at the time of app development because branding is the part of business model. So, you do have to bother defining the exact cost in the development phase. But it is always good to have ab estimation because ultimately it is going to affect the total cost.

After scaling some markets you can build marketing efforts. Some examples of branding are creating an icon and knowing the audience.

Know more- A Step-By-Step Guide to Marketing Your Mobile App   

UX Writing

When you are calculating total app development cost then copywriting cost is a must to include. This is because in online marketing content is king. If your content is engaging then users will undoubtedly be involved with the app.

Good content and an optimum design if the key to a successful app. However, you cannot deny that a good copyright will cost a good amount. This is why it is suggested that you should tell your developer to hire a copywriter first to know the cost estimation.

One more solution is to hire a copywriter by yourself and you can also hire a complete pool of writers. But you should take care that chosen writers should be effective both in cost and content. 

To ensure nativity you can suggestively go for the native English-speaking country. Some examples of UX writing are newsletters, emails, landing pages, etc.

Factor 3: Platform On Which App Will Run

Platform On Which App Will Run

After collecting all information about the cost breakdown of design and complexity of the app development, now it is time to know how much the platform will cost you on which app will run.

For that, you need to select from one of the two options-

Option 1: Hybrid or Cross-Platform Apps

The application will either run on IOS or Android or both. Initially selecting one platform you should consider the following points-

  • Device fragmentation
  • Prevalence
  • Market Share

All three parameters depend upon the market you are going to target.

Also, Read- Mobile App Development For Android And iOS

The better choice is to know the cost of IOS app development and where it is more prevalent than android and the same goes for android. The cost of each platform is different.

Now, the question is what is the cost of app development, this is where cross-platform applications come into the picture. This is because they can use features compatible with either of the platforms. This is why they are easygoing, smooth-operation applications.

This is what will lower the cost of app development and enhance the user experience. This becomes the reason for increasing the app development cost for native apps than hybrid apps because developing two apps will obviously cost more than one.      

Option 2: Develop a Native App

As the name clarifies that in contrast to hybrid apps, native apps only run on a single platform either on IOS or Android.

This brings us to the decision that you have to hire two different development teams if you want to develop your app for both platforms, one for IOS and one for Android.

As the team size is doubled now so the cost of the app will also be doubled. But the question must be what is the cost to develop an app on Android or IOS? 

So, the answer to this question is the cost is almost the same for both platforms. It is correct though the technologies, databases, SDK, frameworks, and quality assessment is different still, the cost is same.

The actual cost of app development is an integral part so it’s hidden.

Cost of Hidden App Development

Here are some additional costs that should be added to the final cost of app development so let us see what are they-

  • Management or admin costs (Like content manager salary)
  • Support costs like additional costs of app changes, future improvements, fixing bugs, etc.
  • Third-party integration functional costs, for example, geolocation, payment gateways, and SMS or push notifications.
  • Cost of infrastructures like server cost, CDN, and integrations like Redis

Let us look into deep in the cost of app development for example an app is costing $75,000 then-

  • If you depend upon the number of loads of integrations can cost from $5000 to $20,000 per year.
  • Maintenance of an application can cost you 20% amount of the actual app development cost. According to 20%, the amount should be around $15,000.

Marketing of an app costs from 50 to 100% of the actual development cost of that app which is $75,000-$150,000.

Also, Read- Why React Native to Develop Cross-Platform App 2023 

Options for App Development

Options for App Development

The cost of App Development also depends on the options you have for its development. The kind of team or company you choose for the development o your app matters a lot in terms of saving cost and ensuring quality services. Your budget can be low, but surely, you want the app to be of high standards. In other words, to get the best of the bucks you spend, it is necessary to choose your app developers wisely.

Here are some pro tips you can use while hiring developers for your design solution-

  • Focusing on the product
  • You should not mess with the design
  • Conisitancy in marketing

The kind of team you select for app development will directly affect its quality and budget. Effective options you can choose for the development of your app are as follows: 

Hire a Local Agency

For app development, you can pick a small or medium-sized local company that also provides other important services like search engine optimization and other important services.

CategoryDescription
CostDepending on the country, the per-hour rates of a development team and a design team can range between $150 to $250 per hour per specialist. 

So, if the total work is for 400 hours and takes an average rate of $100, then it will cost $80,000.

Advantages and DisadvantagesAdvantages

  • Constant communication
  • Easy to make changes
  • Support and responsibility
  • Expert quality

Disadvantages

  • Costly (it can cost at least $40,000 at once and maintenance is separate)
Worth Tring?Worth it for those, who are looking for an expert team and support for app development

Build an In-House Team

For app development, you can also hire a small team that consists of developers and testers, and other essential people. This is suitable for companies where support and development go hand in hand.

CategoryDescription
Cost
  • Full stack developer = $98,000 per year
  • Designer = $85,000 per year iOS or Android
  • Developer = $85,000 per year
Advantages and DisadvantagesAdvantages

  • Constant communication
  • Constant flow of ideas
  • Team involvement

Disadvantages

  • Costly even more than local party
  • All responsibility is yours
Worth Tring?Worth it for already established companies not for a startup because setup costs can increase total app costs very much.

Work With Freelancers

If your project is small and your budget is tight, you can work with freelancers for quick results. Working with freelancers will require you to spend a lot of time communicating with them.

CategoryDescription
CostTwo options-

  • Hourly based hiring
  • Contract-based hiring

Cost per hour-

  • US: $50 per hour
  • Asia: $15 to $25/hour
  • Ukraine: $25/hour
  • Latin America: $20/hour 
Advantages and DisadvantagesAdvantages

  • Cost-effective
  • Good quality products

Disadvantages

  • Zero accountability
Worth Tring?Until and unless you have time and energy to monitor this option is not recommended

Open Source App Development

If your project is big and complex, then you should work with an outsourcing development company that provides quality development and related services.

CategoryDescription
CostMinimum cost per hour is $30
Advantages and DisadvantagesAdvantages

  • Cost-Effectiveness 
  • High-Quality 
  • Break-free Communication 
  • Adherence to Guidelines 
  • No-fuss and hiccups 
  • Accountability 
  • Responsible team 
  • Timely Delivery
  • Build MVP
Worth Tring?You should do a complete background check of a company before hiring. They are the best option on the list.

 The process of app development is tricky so you should select the company wisely. The tasks of app development are-

  • Project management
  • Business analysis
  • Development process
  • Front-end and back-end 
  • UI / UX design
  • App testing
  • Optimization
  • Deployment
  • Often app maintenance

What to Pay Attention to When Choosing an App Development Company?

The year 2023 is about to end and there are already many app development service providers. You must always pick the company that can deliver quality services. Conduct in-depth research of IT companies that provide app development services and can be trusted in terms of quality and timely delivery. Some tips that can help you to choose an app development company are as follows: 

Tip #1- Decide on Requirements for Your Application

To effectively decide the requirements for your application, you need to fix the fund to spend on it, a predicted timeline for the completion of a project on time, and platforms for the app. It will be better if you can research different mobile technologies to assure that your app is for to impress its prospects. It will also help you to understand what type of application you need.

This will help you to choose experts for your app development services.  

Tip #2- Try to Choose Full-Service Companies

By picking a company that already has made a good name in development services, you assure the success of your project. Such companies provide all types of services and assure guaranteed results at all stages of app development. These stages are design, testing, app development, and others, so you don’t need to look for any extra help. 

Tip #3- Interview the Developers Personally

Finding a good app development agency is not enough, interviewing them personally can provide quality results too. Ask them some important questions personally to get insight into their knowledge and how they will handle your project. Ask for their experience and tell them what you are expecting from them. You can also them their opinion on your project to get suggestions or feedback. Such a useful conversation will help the company to provide better services to you. 

Tip #4- Research the Company’s Portfolio

If it is your dream project, you can’t hand it over to any company just because they provide app development services. You can ask a company to name some of the successful projects which they have created in the past.
Check the apps which they have already created. Look at the design, the functions, the feel, and user-friendliness. This will help you to understand and determine whether the company is perfect for your app development. 

It is for you to understand that one of the main factors behind the success of any application is its uniqueness. If the company you choose for your app development seems ordinary,  there are chances your app won’t make a mark. 

Tip #5- Learn About Company’s Privacy and Data Policy

Data is everything in the present era of technology. Make sure the data about your app and other related aspects are safe with the company you are selecting for app development services. Make sure the company signs a non-disclosure agreement with you so that you can assure that your data is safe with them.

It will be better to assure all types of rights to avoid future conflicts.  

Over To You

At the end of this blog, it can be said that cost of application development can depend on many factors, but proper research planning and understanding the objectives of the business is always the priority to take into consideration. 

At VerveLogic we believe in creating a market-ready product and developing your app at the best possible prices. As a mobile app development company, we understand the success, scalability, and progress of the product and aim to achieve them to support your business. 

Also, if you are looking for branding solutions or online marketing for your brand then you should check out VerveBranding and Verve Online Marketing today and make your brand stand out.

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1 thought on “How Much Does It Cost To Develop An App In 2023? Best Cost Breakdown

  1. Sarah

    It was a very helpful resource because it explained app development costs from scratch and covered almost everything. Thank you for posting this.

    Reply

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